Henry Guy Caldwell
Rancher – Civic Leader
Henry Guy Caldwell was born to Judge Clifton Mott and Cora Belle Keathley Caldwell on September 24, 1904, in Breckenridge, Texas. A 1927 graduate of Hardin-Simmons University with a major in economics and a minor in history. Throughout his life, he was known for his devotion to his alma mater, his ranching interests and the communities in which he lived.
He enthusiastically and generously supported two favorite Abilene charities – the West Texas Rehabilitation Center and Hardin-Simmons University. HSU president, Dr. Jesse C. Fletcher, described Caldwell, saying, “Guy Caldwell was the son of pioneers and the consummate West Texan. With his deep faith that so often characterized the founding fathers, he could be counted on as a rancher, family man, churchman, citizen and friend. Few graduates of HSU have been more consistently supportive than Guy. That spirit so beautifully practiced by Guy and his college sweetheart and wife, Jeanette, will be reflected on the campus throughout its years.”
Like his father before him, Guy Caldwell was heavily involved in HSU activities. At the time of his death, he was a member of the HSU Board of Development and Academic Foundation. He previously served on the Board of Trustees. In 1958, he received the John J. Keeter, Jr. Alumni Service Award, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an HSU graduate. In 1981, Guy and Jeanette were the first couple to jointly receive HSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Guy and Martha Jeanette Tippit were married in Alpine, Texas on May 1, 1928. They moved to Abilene in 1948, but spent much of their time working 25,000 acres of ranch and farmlands northeast of Albany. On the occasion of his 50th class reunion from HSU, Caldwell completed a biographical information form. In the space allowed for “hobbies,” he listed, “punching cattle.”
A man of faith, Guy was committed to his church, First Baptist Church of Abilene. He served as a deacon for many years and held the title of Deacon Emeritus at the time of his death in 1987. He had attended his last deacons’ meeting just one week before his passing. His funeral was held at First Baptist Church of Abilene, with Dr. James Flamming and Dr. Bill Bruster officiating. Dr. Bruster has said, “When I preached Guy’s funeral, I chose to make my remarks based on Psalm 1:1-3. That passage describes a man whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night…Guy was not perfect but he lived by those principles.”
Among his many community activities and involvements, Caldwell served as part of Citizens National Bank, Abilene Livestock Show Association, YMCA and Abilene Chamber of Commerce. For years, he engaged in livestock and agricultural projects sponsored by the Chamber. As chairman of a Chamber subcommittee, he played a leading role in acquiring the land and buildings for the West Texas Fairgrounds. His love for ranching and young people combined in his support of Future Farmers of America and 4-H.
Guy’s wife, Jeanette, passed away in 1997. They had three children. Their oldest, John Clifton Caldwell, passed away in 2017. Their younger son, Henry Lee Caldwell, lives in Abilene and their daughter, Molly Caldwell Cline, lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Henry Guy Caldwell lived a full and productive life. In recognition of his life of faith, his devotion to and support of his alma mater and his positive influence in West Texas, HSU proudly inducts Henry Guy Caldwell into the HSU Hall of Leaders.